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The changing outlook of psychedelic drugs: The importance of risk assessment and occupational exposure limits.

Authors
  • Videira, Natália Bernardi1
  • Nair, Vijayalekshmi1
  • Paquet, Valérie2
  • Calhoun, Dean1
  • 1 Affygility Solutions, Broomfield, Colorado, USA.
  • 2 formerly Affygility Solutions, Broomfield, Colorado, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Applied Toxicology
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
Volume
44
Issue
2
Pages
216–234
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/jat.4533
PMID: 37646119
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Serotonergic psychedelics, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT), are currently being investigated for the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. Clinical trials with psilocybin and LSD have shown improvement in emotional and psychological scores. Although these drugs are reported to be safe in a controlled environment (such as clinical trials), exposure to low doses of these drugs can result in psychedelic effects, and therefore, occupational safety is an important consideration to prevent adverse effects in the workplace from low daily exposure. This article will discuss the factors involved in the derivation of occupational exposure limits (OELs) and risk assessment of these psychedelic drugs. To support the OEL derivations of psychedelic drugs, information regarding their mechanism of action, adverse effect profiles, pharmacokinetics, clinical effects, and nonclinical toxicity were considered. Additionally, psilocybin and LSD, which are the most extensively researched psychedelic substances, are employed as illustrative examples in case studies. The OELs derived for psilocybin and for LSD are 0.05 and 0.002 μg/m3 , respectively, which indicates that these are highly hazardous compounds, and it is important to take into account suitable safety measures and risk-management strategies in order to minimize workplace exposure. © 2023 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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